... or how I nearly gave up my little DIY assignment of fixing mosquito nettings.
We know how the tiny mosquitoes, which weighs a mere 2.5 mg, can kill millions all over the world in a year. One of the ways to prevent being bitten is to protect ourselves from them, by for eg. having mosquito nettings at window openings: let the fresh air comes in but not the pesky mozzies.
On my earlier trip, I measured the PJ house's windows (2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) as well as the kitchen door, and had the nettings made in Batu Gajah, to be fixed by me. Except for the kitchen door which needs a fixed frame netting to be screwed on to the metal grille, the others have two sliding pieces within each frame. For the bigger window (4' x 8'), anticipating the problem of transporting it (even with the Mother Trucker), required splitting it into 2 frames measuring 4'x4'.
The netting for the kitchen door grille was the most problematic, even at the start of our journey. Because of its length, the only place to put it was on the car rooftop. But only the canopy portion has two railings to tie it. Just imagine having a longish rectangular aluminium piece secured at the back, with the front facing the wind as the car gathered speed. It was the worst position in terms of aerodynamics. We had to stop three times (before joining N-S Expressway) because the rattle was unbearable.
Upon arrival, what was supposed to be a piece of cake (done this before), the netting position for the kitchen door was affected by two metal protrusions. Without a cutter, the best alternative was to use the drill to drill a hole and cut it crudely.
The fabricators promised me that they would drill holes at the right places. But, instead of all the way, they stopped short of one layer, supposedly to help me in positioning on site. My initial trial at drilling one was so discouraging that I almost gave up there and then!
Looking back, patience helped. Before this, there was no alarm detectors to deal with, but this time, all my measurements and positions were affected by one on each window grille. So, I had to improvise, a word which I imagine my son would presume to be a cover for my lack of skill. But, truth be told, the lack of suitable tools was my main complaint. For example, for cutting metal, having an electric cutter could help a lot, but I decided against buying one just for that! Similarly, having right type of drill bits and of sufficient quality is essential too. I had to use a small drill bit to start a hole at the right position, before using a bigger bit. Then I had to use a masonry drill bit for the wall. Just imagine the frequent change of drill bits for a single hole!
For each hole position, imagine a bigger hole on top and a smaller hole at the bottom of the frame, already sealed. The screw had to be aligned through the top, then bottom and then to the hole on the wall or metal grille. For each mistake, I would lose a screw inside the tube which cannot be retrieved without dismantling the frame! To overcome this, I had to use cellophane tape to hold the screw on to the screwdriver end. But still, I lost a number because of carelessness. Because of the difficulty in getting each screw in position, I could not unscrew for the purpose of doing the same to the other positions. I had to literally sleep over it, before coming to some sort of ability to do it.
We brought the stuff to PJ last Saturday, and the last pieces were done only on Monday morning! It wasn't done to my satisfaction because of the lack of time (went out to Amcorp Mall and then to sister-in-law's for dinner). It was really frustrating having to work alone; with poor memory which affected my finding things which were placed moments ago; with stuff in a room which hindered movement; and then had to vacuum and mop after that. So I can empathise with those who deal with such work.
But for the sake of saving a few Ringgit, and more because of proving to myself that I can still be useful, it was worth the trouble.